The June 2023 newsletter of Let’s Move in Libraries includes:

  • The announcement of StoryWalk® Week 2023
  • A call for participation in a new StoryWalk® resource database
  • Inspiring stories from New York, Massachusetts, and Delaware
  • Looking forward to Summer 2023
  • An update on our monthly Birds of a Feather conversation series

This month’s featured image is official call for nominations for the inaugural “I Partner With My Public Library Award.”

Has a community partner made a difference by collaborating with your public library

The I Partner With My Public Library Award invites you to recognize the accomplishments of exceptional public library partners. Each year, up to 10 partners are honored at a ceremony held in their honor.

The I Partner With My Library Award will shine a light on positive things happening through library–community collaborations.

Submitting a nomination is the perfect way to thank your library’s partners.

Nominations will be accepted through the end of August 2023. Final decisions will be made on October 1, 2023, with a public awards ceremony occurring in early November, 2023. Awardees will also be publicly celebrated on the Let’s Move in Libraries webpage. Join us in this new endeavor!

This award is inspired by the American Library Association’s I Love My Librarian Award. This award grew out of the Cultivating the Relationship-Driven Library online that took place in April 2023. The award is sponsored by the non-profit, Let’s Move in Libraries.

Join us in this new endeavor!

The announcement of StoryWalk® Week 2023

A story shared during StoryWalk Week 2022

We are thrilled to share that StoryWalk® Week will be back in November 2023! This collaboration with the Association of Bookmobile & Outreach Services (ABOS) began in 2021. Every year we invite public librarians from around the world to celebrate their StoryWalk® stories by sharing them with us. We in turn will amplify these stories using social media and our websites. We will also invite you to amplify the StoryWalk® Week celebration in your community – symbolizing that your efforts are part of a larger international movement to connect reading, movement, and the outdoors! StoryWalk® Week 2023 will be November 12-18, 2023.

Take a look at what was shared in StoryWalk Week 2021 and 2022, and make sure to take pictures and document your StoryWalk story to get ready to share it!

We will be circulating a call for submissions in Fall 2023. All welcome to join in!

Don’t know what a StoryWalk is? Check out our StoryWalk resource page to get started!

A call for participation in a new StoryWalk® resource database

If you’ve done a StoryWalk before, you know it takes a lot of time first to select the story, and then to create fun, engaging prompts that will help enhance participants’ experiences as they move from page to page along your trail.

To make it easier to create these prompts, Emily Fleischer, MLS, a librarian in Indiana, recently created a database of book-specific prompts created by StoryWalk organizers from all over.

To make this database come alive, Emily needs YOU!

Take a moment to share the prompts you’ve used for StoryWalks you’ve done in your community, and join this effort to make StoryWalks even easier to launch.

Emily has started the database with the prompts she uses for the book A Way with Wild Things by Larissa Theule and Sara Palacios, pictured here.

Inspiring stories from New York, Massachusetts and Delaware

We want to thank librarians from the Route 9 Library & Innovation Center (New Castle County Libraries) in Delaware, Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, Massachusetts, and Warner Library in Tarrytown, New York, for sharing the following inspires stories. Share your story to be featured in a future newsletter and on our website!

In New Castle County, Delaware, “over the past year, the Route 9 Library has engaged in a partnership with University of Delaware’s HEALTH for All outreach program. This allows the library to open up our space for once-a-month health and wellness checks at the library. This partnership evolved into a Health & Wellness Fair, which took place on Saturday, May 6th 2023. With 23 community health organizations and approximately 175 people in attendance, we were quite pleased by this event and our continued partnership with community health organizations.

Librarian Scott Businsky says “We are aligning our goals with a local community monitoring group to address social determinants of health, and expanding access to health & wellness programming, collections, and resources. Through these partnerships and shared goals, we are positioning the library as a community anchor in a historically underserved community.”

In Tarrytown, New York, the the Warner Library recently launched a new StoryWalk on the grounds of the library. A few years ago, the library’s StoryWalk was stolen from a local park. Now it hugs the library in all its glory. Learn more on the library’s Instagram, which states that invites all to “take a mindful stroll and enjoy our bilingual listening StoryWalk. Co-sponsored by the Library, the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns and the Friends of the Library.”

In Quincy, Massachusetts, Thomas Crane Public Library invites locals for fitness meetups on the lawn on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of Summer.

Image made by Thomas Crane Public Library Graphic Design Librarian Maryam

“I wanted to create a program where people from all backgrounds could come together this summer,” Rosie, Adult Services Librarian at Thomas Crane said. “[Everyone] can try out different types of workouts they might be interested in with zero cost barriers.”

The Boston Bulldogs Running Club kicks off the series on Saturday, June 24, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. with a guided walk/run throughout Quincy where all fitness levels are welcome. On Saturday, July 8, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and Saturday, August 12, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Jeremy Colon of Revamp Training invites you to test upper, lower, and core muscles for a full-body workout on the lawn. On Saturday, July 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Korina Nigro of KNF Fitness boosts confidence and energy with a fun and uplifting outdoor cardio kickboxing workout. Completing the series on August 26 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. join Higher Ground Fitness for a total body, high intensity, low impact workout on mats that mimics HGF’s unique Lagree Fitness and Megaformer machines.

“Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or just starting your wellness journey, this series offers something for everyone. Get ready to sweat & have fun while enjoying some fresh air & our beautiful library grounds.”

Thanks to the librarians who shared their stories this month! Share your story to be featured in a future newsletter and on our website!

Looking forward to Summer 2023

We can’t wait to hear what you all will do in and with your communities during Summer 2023! Please document what you do and consider sharing with us!

For now, here is a preview of some of the more exiting partnerships we have seen in our news feed.

  • In Michigan, an annual block party returns to downtown East Lansing every Thursday night and East Lansing Public Library’s Library on the Go mobile pop-up library will be there along with giant Connect 4, cornhole, giant Jenga, ping pong, giant chess and more. “It’s just a really nice vibe,” said Brice Bush, with the East Lansing Public Library. “It’s a great opportunity to be in downtown without worrying about traffic because the street is closed and it’s just nice.”
  • In Alabama, Mobile Public Library invites all to join them for a wide variety of activities for all ages including special performances, reading challenges, crafts, games and more. The grand prize for each age group in the summer reading challenge is a bicycle sponsored by Adventure Earth.
  • In Oklahoma, the Miami Public Library ends Summer reading with a pool party. Library director Callie Cortner said “They fall into that summer slump where they are not really doing much of anything, so we want to keep them reading, so we challenge them, they earn prizes for reading, they earn prizes for attending some of our events, and then at the very end we do a big pool party for everybody that has completed their goals.”
  • In Ontario, Grimsby Public Library holds a Summer Reading Kickoff Party on Saturday, June 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. This fun-filled afternoon features a parkour obstacle course from Play Project Parkour, balloon animals from Halaloo, First Words Workshop, Llama Tutoring, popcorn, face painting, giant board games, an art activity, button-making, seed planting, bubbles and more! There’s something for everyone thanks to an abundance of community partnerships.
  • In Nebraska, Grand Island Public Library kicks off its summer programming on Thursday, May 25. The teen summer learning kicks off with after-hours party set for 7:45 p.m. Monday, June 5, at the library. The library closes and doors lock at 8, but teens ages 11-18 can enjoy laser tag, food and more until 9:30 p.m. No registration is required and, of course, it’s all free!
  • In Ohio, the Wood County District Public Library invites its community to outdoor family playtimes held throughout the months of June and July at Wooster Green. At these events, families can enjoy group games, activities with different community partners each week, dance, listen to music, and more. To sweeten the deal, family playtimes with librarians coincides with the City of Bowling Green’s Food Truck Thursdays.
  • In Wisconsin, dozens of community organizations gathered at Safe and Sound Saturday on May 13 in Milwaukee to help youth get involved in summer programs. The Milwaukee Public Library joined the Milwaukee Police Department, the Milwaukee Health Center, community leaders for a day of dancing, activities, and food focused on connecting youth to opportunities to play and learn during the Summer months.
  • In Indiana, a children’s street fair complete with superheroes will kick off the Lebanon Public Library’s summer reading program on June 5. A street block will be closed down to make room for a petting zoo, inflatables, trucks to touch, airbrush tattoos, carnival games, an obstacle course, a special activity for toddlers, a scavenger hunt, prizes, and food, including free shaved ice for children. In addition to connecting with librarians, participants at the library’s block party can meet representatives of area non-profit organizations who will set up booths along the street.

Share with us what Summer looks like for you!

An update on our monthly Birds of a Feather conversation series

Want to continue a community of public library workers and public library partners? Join us in our monthly Birds of a Feather conversation series.

Beginning in February 2023, we host monthly one-hour Birds of a Feather online conversation. The next event will be JULY 19. We are taking the month off this June, but will be back July 19 for an inspiring, engaging, and lively conversation.

What is a Birds of a Feather conversation? It’s an opportunity for individuals with shared interests to gather together (birds of a feather flock together) to share resources, inspire one another, and generally build community.

These events are never recorded so that all participants can share freely. Join us!

During our May call we had a lively conversation around a range of topics, centering around food and food literacy. Resources shared included:

What’s Cooking Stage @ ALA stage during the June 2023 conference of the American Library Association

Maine Senior FarmShare Program

Readers to Eaters: We Publish Books about Food – Our thanks to Philip Lee from Readers to Eaters for sharing this handy calendar of food-related celebrations around which to create programs and partnerships

Recipes we Carry Swap Participants wrote their recipes in a recipe card which was then posted to a board on display at the Gail Borden Public Library

Try This West Virginia – Building a statewide grassroots network of West Virginians working for healthier communities.

Braille Enhanced StoryWalk® at Seattle Sensory Garden

Find Your Library – National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled – resource for Brailled enhanced StoryWalks

Active for Life and Guidelines for reprinting and republishing Active for Life content

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Subscribe to the Let’s Move in Libraries newsletter for monthly editions of success stories, educational opportunities, and food for thought that will deepen the impact of HEAL (Healthy Eating & Active Living) programs and services in public libraries. Also follow the project on FacebookInstagramYouTube, and Twitter to stay up-to-date. The Let’s Move in Libraries project focuses on how public libraries create opportunities for individuals of all ages and abilities to engage in healthy activities.